Fashion and Textiles Handbook
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(CAO code : DUBDIF)

The ‘Diploma in Fashion Design’ offers an in-depth interactive and research-orientated learning environment to equip students with the practical skills and applied knowledge to meet the needs of the fashion/clothing industry. The Diploma will provide greater learning opportunities in terms of skill and technology, so that the student can achieve the highest level of design understanding, that meets the social and economic needs of the self and society through entrepreneurship and sustainable development. The programme will prepare students for life-long learning, and support not only traditional fashion design, but promote a spirit of enquiry, reflection and evaluation, to encourage students to be innovative in their approaches to problem solving, to pursue new ideas and apply the knowledge and skills acquired to issues encountered in the workplace and society, and to interact with the industry with a view to identifying opportunities in both the formal and small business sector.


The qualification will enable graduates to enter a number of possible career paths, such as pattern technologists, designers, trend forecasters, retailers and/or buyers, and to apply their learning to particular employment contexts from the outset. A wide and diverse range of activities will take place across a structured programme, with an emphasis on research and creativity, and these will contribute towards the intended outcomes. The study and application of the theoretical and creative components of the programme will actively encourage the students to broaden their knowledge base and commit themselves to the challenges of the future and to contribute to the expansion and development of the South African fashion/clothing industry as a whole. A student with this qualification will develop a deep and systematic understanding of current thinking, practice, theory and methodology in an area of specialisation. With the introduction of General Education and the exposure to a range of elective modules, the student will be prepared for the social, personal and global work environment.


Qualities Required as a Designer  

The fashion and textiles industry is highly competitive and depends upon rapid turn-around time. Working conditions are not always favourable and the designer or entrepreneur is constantly placed under pressure to meet deadlines. It is, therefore, important to have the ability to communicate at all levels, deal with criticism, and work in an organized and rational manner. Although this may all seem quite challenging, if the enthusiasm, ambition and desire to succeed is there, the rewards of recognition will present themselves. Qualities, which will assist students in reaching their goals, are professionalism, self-motivation, commitment and drive.


Career Opportunities

The possible career opportunities include being self-employed (as a bespoke designer, freelance pattern technologist, or CAD artist), a commercial designer in a clothing manufacturer, a buyer or merchandiser, trend forecasters, visual merchandisers and/or an academic. Opportunities exist in performing arts, film and television companies. One can enjoy recognition at a young age and become a senior designer or reach executive level in a fashion house. In large companies’ designers are usually sent to overseas trade shows in the major centres of the world, to study fashion trends or select fabrics and trimmings. To cope with modern design development and advanced technology, the industry requires appropriately trained designers, technologists and management personnel in ever-increasing numbers. Students are also equipped with entrepreneurial skills to start their own businesses.


Course Information

Applications to this programme must be made via the Central Applications Office (CAO):
C.A.O. codes: DUBFX3, DUBFS5
Tel: 031 268 4444

Applicants who wish to enrol for the programme must apply no later than 30 September of the previous year, to be considered for an assessment and interview.


Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design: 1 year full time only

The minimum admission requirements to the Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design is a Diploma in Fashion Design or equivalent.


Postgraduate Diploma in Fashion Design: 1 year full time only

The minimum admission requirements to the Postgraduate Diploma in Fashion Design is an Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design or equivalent


Master of Applied Arts in Fashion: 1 year full time only

This qualification is offered by means of a full fashion-related research project. Students are required to submit a full dissertation or a mini dissertation together with a substantial practical component


Minimum admission requirement

All applicants are required to undergo a personal interview and assessment.

Duration of Programme

A supervisor will be allocated to assist the student through the proposal stage. Once the proposal appears to be of an acceptable standard, it goes through three stages of approval, viz.:

  • Approval from the Departmental Review Committee (DRC)
  • Faculty Research Committee (FRC)
  • Approval from Higher Degrees Committee (HDC)
  • Approval from IREC (if applicable)


It is possible to work on a full theory dissertation OR a dissertation supported by a practical component, depending on the student’s area of strength. The proposal should be approved within 6 months of the registration.


Entry Requirements

Diploma in Fashion Entrance Requirements (CAO code: DUBDIF)
Master of Applied Arts Fashion Entrance Requirements

Applications to this programme must be made via the Central Applications Office (CAO):
C.A.O. code: DUBDIF
Tel: 031 268 4444

Contact Information

default-avatar-e1448374196642Head of Department: TBA





default-avatar-e1448374196642Secretary: Mr Njabulo Ngcobo
Tel: 031 373 3750
Fax to Email: 086 673 4355
Location: Brickfield


For further information

International Applicants
Address letters to:
Student Admissions
Durban University of Technology
P O Box 1334
Tel: 031 373 2861
Fax: 031 373 3405

Financial Aid
For further details contact:
Financial Aid Services
Durban University of Technology
P O Box 1334
Tel: 031 373 2553
Fax: 031 373 5432

Residence Accommodation
Application forms are obtainable from the:
Director: Student Housing
P.O Box 47753 GREYVILLE 4023
or P.O Box 1334 DURBAN – 4000
Tel: 031 373 2216 or 031 373 5455

This is for information purposes only and is not binding on the Durban University of Technology.